My Beautiful Wife and I just got back from a trip to Italy. My father bought our plane tickets and arranged for us, along with my brothers and sisters and their spouses, to meet in Rome, where we spent five days walking among the ruins and splendors of the ancient world and five nights eating pasta and drinking Italian wine. Then we took the train up to Cinque Terre, just the two of us, for three days of hiking and reading and sitting on the beach (and more pasta and wine).

For the last day, I’ve been wondering about what I should write. I started a few things–pretty typical screeds about American provincialism and boorish tourist behavior, crazy Italian drivers, the glorious works of Michelangelo and Raphael and Bernini, the value of foreign travel. You’ve read them all before. I don’t have anything new to say about any of these topics.

So I decided I’d share some pictures.

The ruins of Ancient Rome from Palatine Hill. That’s the Arch of Constantine down right, and the Colosseum back in the distance.

Have you seen Exit Through The Gift Shop? This is the street art of Space Invader–just around the corner from the Vatican.

An old nun in purple walks along the street inside the Vatican. We were there on May 21–the day the Rapture was supposed to occur. I don’t think it happened.

A hodgepodge of rooflines shot inside the old Jewish ghetto.

A detail of the beautiful Trevi Fountain. We tossed in our coins, so I guess we’ll be going back to Rome.

My Beautiful Wife hanging outside a store across from the Spanish Steps. Note the nerd who appears to be standing above the shoes taking pictures.

Light pours into the Pantheon.

Morning in Vernazza, where we stayed for three nights, shot from the path we hiked between Vernazza and Monterosso.

My Beautiful Wife makes friends with a feral cat on the trail.

Waiting in La Spezia for the train back to Rome.

I am a lucky man.

Ciao, everybody!